Formula One: Scuderia Ferrari embrace social media with #ReadySetRed

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Scuderia Ferrari have launched a competition through social media channels; Twitter, Instagram,and Facebook , to give fans a chance to take part in the launch of the 2016 challenger on the in February.

Fans are invited to make posts across their social media profiles to promote the launch using the hashtag #ReadySetRed. Participants will gain points for engagement with the top 10 finishers being invited to take part in the launch of the car through Skype.

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Many predicted the countdown to the launch of this competition which has been live on the Ferrari homepage for a number of days would in fact be the launch of the car. The disappointment of this not being the case has resulted in a level of backlash from fans and rival teams a like. It will be interesting to monitor the levels engagement in the coming days once the initial reaction has passed.

During a period in which Formula One is often criticised for its lack of social media engagement it is a shame that when a team develops an original activation strategy the response is not more positive.

Rather than spurning the Scuderia’s approach perhaps teams can take the lead and try to surpass their engagement efforts.

Formula One: Alex Zanardi – No Limits

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At the Lausitzring on the 15th September 2001 during a Champ Car race, Alex Zanardi was involved in a horrific, life threatening accident in which he lost both his legs. Whilst medical staff worked to save his life, his heart stopped seven times. To medical experts his survival is seen as nothing short of a miracle. As a motorsport fan there are maybe a handful drivers for whom you feel a vested interest, maybe because you followed their early career, you happened to meet them, or something about their personality impacts you. Alex Zanardi is one of the first drivers I felt that way about and as I watched the accident live that day, I was sure I had just witnessed the death of a hero.

I could not have been more wrong.

Alex Zanardi’s career following his accident has been extraordinary, once again finding success behind the wheel and what’s more, becoming an Olympic Gold medal winning athlete!  The documentary No Limits delves into what drives a man such as Alex Zanardi to achieve so much, and offers unprecedented access to all areas of his life.

No Limits follows Alex Zanardi, with Bruno Spengler, and Timo Glock as they prepare to compete in the 2015 Spa 24hrs with BMW Motorsport and the ROAL team. Simultaneously, Alex Zanardi is preparing to defend his World Championship title at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Switzerland.

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Shot entirely in 4k, the look and feel of the film is sublime. The level of visual detail is outstanding. Shots captured of steam literally rolling off Zanardi’s body as he exits the car at the end of a night-time stint offer a perspective into the human challenge of endurance racing, previously unseen for many. I recommend that anyone seeing this film does so on the largest screen possible to get a true feel for the quality of the cinematography.

This trailer for the film gives you just a hint of what you can expect from the feature:

During scenes filmed whilst training at home, Alex Zanardi talks frankly about his life, his accident, and the choices he has made. His relentless and limitless mentality is humbling. Alex Zanardi is by no means someone people should feel pity for, rather someone who can inspire us.

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In developing a film around a subject matter in which the outcome is not yet known, it is the role of the director to find and capture the story. In No Limits, Tim & Nick Hahne depict the raw emotion involved in bringing a team together to compete in the challenge of endurance racing. The modern motor racing driver is often criticized for lacking personality; this film serves to dismiss that perception as we see a group of drivers come together to work together, pushing each other forward and enjoying themselves along the journey.

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As a Motor Racing fan I can not recommend this film highly enough. If like me you have a partner who for whatever reason just doesn’t understand why you are so passionate about a bunch of cars driving round in circles, get them to sit down with you for 60 minutes and watch this film. I believe their appreciation for the sport will be changed, and your Sunday afternoons on the sofa might become that little bit easier to negotiate!

“Limits exist only in our head” – Alex Zanardi. An inspiration to us all.

No Limits is available to download worldwide from February 1st.  Follow this link to see more details.

Formula One: Haas F1 team livery: Expect the Unexpected

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“Expect the unexpected” was the response from Team Principle Günther Steiner when questioned around the final livery for The Haas F1 team 2016 contender.

Existing corporate partnerships the StewartHaas Racing team have established in NASCAR will not extend to the Formula One team in the short term and whilst the team are open to new partners joining the team, Steiner confirmed Haas Automation will in effect take the position of principle sponsor. This reconfirms the intentions set out by Gene Haas to increase European recognition and market share from the beginning of the team’s F1 project.

The corporate colours of Haas Automation are red and white. The team through social media,  earlier this week previewed team transporters for the European races in these colours suggesting they will maintain a similar feel, yet Steiner’s comments suggest fans could be in for something a little different.

Formula One: Pirelli tyre compounds for the Russian Grand Prix announced

 

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Pirelli will bring the following three compounds to the fourth round of the 2016 Formula One season in Russia (April 28-May 1)

P Zero White medium
P Zero Yellow soft
P Zero Red supersoft

These are the tyres that Pirelli has said must be used at some point in the race:

One set of P Zero White medium
One set of P Zero Yellow soft.

Each driver must have both these sets available for the race, and must use at least one of them.

There are the tyres assigned for Q3 in qualifying:
One set of P Zero Red supersoft

Following on from the 2016 regulations, each driver must save for Q3 one set of the softest of the three nominated compounds. This set will be given back to Pirelli after Q3 for those who qualify in the top 10, but the remaining drivers will keep it for the race – as is the case currently.

The teams are free to choose the remaining sets; making up 13 sets in total for the weekend.

Confirmation that Pirelli will not be taking the Ultra Soft compound to the Russian Grand Prix means the compound is unlikely to make its debut until the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of May.

Formula One: Scuderia Ferrari strategist joins Haas F1 Team

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Ruth Buscombe has left her role within the race strategy team at Ferrari to join the Haas F1 Team. In an expanded position of Chief Strategist Ruth will attend all races with the team and take overall responsibility for the development of the team’s strategy on track over a race weekend.  Guenther Steiner explained that the move came about following a recommendation from James Allison.

Whilst the Scuderia were sorry to see Ruth leave back in November 2015, they felt the move to The Haas F1 team would be preferable to a move to another competitor.

Ruth has returned from Maranello to the UK and is based at the Banbury facility forming part of the 110 strong team supported by a number of contractors across each of the Haas F1 team locations. Ruth Buscombe is the only permanent member of the Haas F1 team to have moved from Scuderia Ferrari.

Ruth joined Ferrari as a MEng graduate from the University of Cambridge having studied Aerospace and Aerothermal Engineering.  Her Master Thesis, which was conducted in conjunction with the FIA and supervised by Tony Purnell (Former Jaguar and Red Bull Team Principal), was on the effect of the DRS on the F1 Racing Spectacle.

Formula E: Renault partner the 2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship’s Paris ePrix

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Renault will be a partner of the 2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship’s Paris ePrix. The all-electric single-seater racing cars will compete around the French city’s famous Hôtel des Invalides monument on April 23.

Renault is a pioneer in the world of electric vehicles and, during the meeting, its Z.E. range will be displayed in the race’s ‘e-village’ which will be open to the general public and guests.

After winning the inaugural Teams’ title in 2014/2015, Renault e.dams currently tops the 2015/2016 standings and will be particularly keen to shine when the FIA Formula E Championship visits the streets of its home country’s capital.

Formula One: 2016 Mclaren teamwear revealed

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In a new Sanatander UK advert released over the weekend, Jenson Button is seen wearing Mclaren 2016 teamwear for the first time.

The design suggests the team will retain a similar style to 2015 in both teamwear and colour palette . The design does not feature any previously unannounced partnerships for the team, although these could be added at a later date.

The design has received a mix response on social media, however without the context of the complete kit it is difficult to draw any firm conclusion.

The advert can be seen in full here.

 

 

Formula One: Whisper Films to produce Channel 4 F1 Content

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Channel 4 has awarded the production contract for its coverage of the FIA Formula One World Championship™ to experienced independent sports production company Whisper Films.

The contract was awarded after a competitive tender process with production companies with Formula 1® credentials. The tender process was led by Ed Havard, Channel 4’s Head of TV Events and Sport, and Stephen Lyle – who has been promoted to the new role of Head of F1® – to a short timescale in order to meet the start of the season on March 20th.

It follows the news announced last month that Channel 4 would become the new terrestrial television home of Formula 1® from 2016-2018 – broadcasting ten live F1® races, practice and qualifying sessions each season as well as comprehensive highlights of all 21 Grands Prix and qualifying sessions.

Whisper Films was set up in 2010 by former BBC Sport F1® producer Sunil Patel, former Formula 1® driver David Coulthard and BT Sport and former BBC F1® presenter, Jake Humphrey. Channel 4 took a minority stake in the production company in 2015 as part of its Indie Growth Fund.

As well as demonstrating significant innovation and creativity in their approach to producing Formula 1® coverage, included within Whisper Film’s winning pitch was the signing of a number of key production personnel and presenters with extensive experience in the sport. These include Mark Wilkin, the editor of the BBC’s award-winning F1® coverage, as programme editor.

13-times Grands Prix winner David Coulthard is also announced as the first signing of the on-screen presenting team. He will bring his extensive knowledge from 15 seasons racing in Formula 1®, as well as his considerable contacts in the sport, to Channel 4’s coverage.

The full presenting and commentary team will be announced in due course.

North One Television, who have a track record in motorsports production, will also work with Channel 4 on a number of accompanying programmes to support Formula 1®.

Ed Havard, Channel 4’s Head of TV Events and Sport said: “Whisper Films outlined an extremely impressive and exciting vision for their F1 coverage, with outstanding on and off screen talent as an integral part of their pitch. We are delighted that David Coulthard will be at the heart of Channel 4’s coverage and look forward to announcing the full presenting team in the coming weeks.”

Sunil Patel, Executive Producer for Whisper Films said: “Whisper Films has an unrivalled production team with over 20 years’ experience in Formula One and unique contacts throughout the sport. Channel 4 and the sport have talked about a new approach and we believe we are ideally placed to deliver this.”

David Coulthard said: “This is an exciting time for the sport and an exciting time for Whisper Films. The F1 World has been incredibly impressed with what Whisper has delivered over the last five years and Channel 4’s decision is testament to that. I’m looking forward to being part of an exciting new era for Formula One, with Whisper Films and our proven level of creativity and innovation very much at the heart of that.”

Formula One: Wet weather test scheduled for Pirelli

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Pirelli have announced plans to complete a wet weather test session at the Paul Ricard Circuit on the 25th and 26th of this month.

Scuderia Ferrari, Mclaren, and Red Bull Racing will be in attendance.

The purpose of the session will be to test wet weather tyre prototypes. For the session only wet weather tyres will be used.

Teams are expected to confirm the driver line up for the session in the coming days.

Formula One: 2017 Regulation changes watered down?

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Reports are emerging that the plans for radical change in the 2017 F1 Technical Regulations are being increasingly toned down over fears that cars may become too fast with the targeted 5 seconds per lap improvement in performance possibly leading to safety issues.

As reported on Auto Motor und Sport (German), in a Technical Working Group meeting, discussions around these fears have lead to a recalibration of the proposed regulations.

Proposals to increase the width of the car at the widest point, the tyres, to 2 metres have been retained, but the bodywork between the axles will not increase to the planned 180 cm but remain at 140 cm, leaving a substantial area of uncovered floor. Also shelved are plans for a larger diffuser and changes to the front and rear wings which under earlier proposals had been set from dramatic change, with the diffuser set to double in height and the rear wing increase in width.

With this proposed watering down of the regulation change it is anticipated that only 25% of the targeted  performance improvement will be achieved.  Sources suggest that leading non works teams have expressed frustration that the body work changes will be barely visable and the series will retain its reliance on Power Unit development leaving limited scope for aerodynamic developments.

Full 2017 regulations are set to be published in March this year to ensure teams have sufficient time to prepare for any changes. Until such time it is unlikely any clear view will be provided on how the next generation of Formula One cars will be set to look.